According to the Forum of Private Business, more than half of small businesses are expected to do away with the annual festive bash for staff. But it warns that dropping the Christmas-do could risk alienating workers and eroding morale and suggests such events do not have to be too costly.
Chief executive, Phil Orford, says the benefits of an annual get-together cannot be underestimated. “They encourage communication, motivate staff, and reward them at a time when other perks, such as pay rises and bonuses for many just aren't an option,” he says.
So, with that in mind, the forum suggests 10 tips for employers:
1. Ask your staff for party ideas that meet a tight budget
2. Host a low-key event, possibly at your own premises and ask everyone to bring a bottle
3. Make your own entertainment, such as a quiz
4. Go for lunch instead of an evening meal
5. Use discount websites to secure a good deal (procurement professionals can no doubt help with this)
6. Take time to go around your place of work, talk to every member of staff and say thanks
7. Recognise exceptional work with awards
8. Secret Santa – staff buy gifts for each other, therefore costing the company nothing
9. Let staff go a couple of hours early in the last day before the holidays.
10. Allow staff to get into the festive spirit by decorating the office (possibly with items they bring in from home).
Orford adds: “In these tough times, small businesses need to retain their best staff. Motivated workers are a valued commodity and help businesses perform better.”